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The art of transcreation: how to adapt your content for a global audience

Image of part of a globe representation the transcreation of content for global audience.

In today’s globalised world, businesses and brands are looking to reach a wider audience. To do this, you need to produce content that can connect with people from different cultures and backgrounds. This is where the art of transcreation comes in.

What is transcreation?

Transcreation involves adapting content from one language to another while maintaining its: 

  • meaning
  • intent
  • emotional impact

Creative adaption of content

It goes beyond mere translation, as it involves the creative adaptation of content to suit the cultural nuances of the target audience. This doesn’t just involve transcreating from say Italian to Australian English, it involves transcreating content from American English to Australia English, and trust me there are differences between the two.

Transcreation is not just limited to marketing and advertising; it’s also relevant to other fields, such as: 

  • education
  • entertainment
  • literature.

It’s also used in voice chatbots such as Siri and Alexa. In this blog, we will explore the art of transcreation and how to effectively adapt your content for a global audience.

Understanding your target audience

The first step in transcreation is to understand the target audience. You need to know their: 

  • cultural background
  • language
  • values.

This understanding will help you to adapt your content in a way that resonates with them.

For example, if you are creating content for a Middle Eastern audience, you need to be aware of their conservative cultural values. This means that you need to be mindful of your visual and verbal language, so as not to offend or appear disrespectful.

Adapting the tone and style

The tone and style of your content play a significant role in connecting with your audience. Transcreation involves adapting the tone and style of your content to suit the cultural nuances of the target audience. This means that you need to be mindful of the language used, the sentence structure, and even the humour used.

For example, the use of sarcasm may be appreciated in Western cultures, but it may not be well received in other cultures. Therefore, it’s important to adapt the tone and style of your content to suit the target audience’s preferences.

Localising visuals and graphics

Visuals and graphics are a crucial element of content creation. They help to engage the audience and convey the message effectively. However, different cultures may have different perceptions and interpretations of visuals and graphics.

Therefore, when transcreating content, it’s essential you localise the visuals and graphics to suit the cultural preferences of the target audience. This means that you may need to change the: 

  • colours
  • images
  • design elements.

For example, the use of red is considered lucky in Chinese culture, while it may symbolise danger in Western cultures. Therefore, if you’re creating content for a Chinese audience, you may want to use more red in your visuals and graphics.

Adapting content for the local language

Transcreation involves adapting content for the local language. This means that you need to be mindful of the local dialects, idioms, and even slang words.

For example, in the US, people use the word “diaper”, while here in Australia we use the word nappy.

Ensuring accuracy and consistency

Accuracy and consistency are crucial in transcreation. The content needs to be accurate in terms of conveying the intended message, while maintaining consistency with the brand’s identity.

This means that you need to ensure that the content is factually correct, and that the translations are accurate. It’s also essential to maintain consistency with the brand’s tone and style, so that the content remains recognisable and familiar to the target audience.

Testing the content

Once you have transcreated your content, you must test it with the target audience. This will help you to identify any cultural nuances that you may have missed during the transcreation process. This feedback will help you to refine your content.

Remember transcreation is not just about translating content from one language to another it also involves transcreating a global language like English to suit your local audience.

Transcreators unite

Transcreation is a powerful tool for adapting content to meet your user’s specific cultural and linguistic needs. There are many businesses that have a network of global transcreators to help your business adapt your content for local audiences.

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